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Kingdom Select in last-gasp victory

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Kingdom Select were crowned the champions of the K’hansicala Rugby Tournament held at the Police Training College (PTC) on Sunday.
Kingdom Select beat Mpumalanga 19-17 in the final minutes with Bakoena Nketsi clinching the championship with a last-gasp try to win the competition.

The K’hansicala Rugby Tournament was founded in 2019 and is contested by teams representing four countries – Lesotho, Eswatini, South Africa as well as Mozambique.
It is not the first time that Kingdom Select have won the competition. They first won it in 2021 when they beat Eswatini who will host next year’s tournament.
Speaking to thepost after the final, Kingdom Select coach Morapeli Motaung lauded the tournament as a success.
However, Motaung said, the tournament did not give him everything he wanted as a coach. He said the only team that gave Kingdom Select a tough time was Mpumalanga in the final.
He insisted that if his side played at least three games at a similar level he would have a different viewpoint.
However, Motaung said Kingdom Select came out of the competition with a championship spirit.
“Teams are really improving, looking at number two, Mpumalanga, and number three, Mozambique, they are preparing because their games are different from the last two tournaments, so next year we will have to be prepared and work hard and maybe return with our trophy,” he said.
“We were playing with 70% of new players (in this tournament), meaning we are preparing for the coming tournaments and we believe it will be easier when we start with this young generation than when playing with old players. After two years we have to develop a new team,” he added.
Motaung also sang praises of the match winner Nketsi saying he led the team by example, showed mental strength and inspired his teammates when they had appeared to give up.
“I had to substitute the players immediately when I realised that some were just waiting for the final whistle and those who came on made a big difference. Nketsi motivated us because he gave us an alert that our team is already good mentally,” he said.
“Opponents failing to convert their points helped us and maybe we could have scored 21 if we also converted ours, but all in all we are thankful,” he said.
For his part, Nketsi said the final was nerve wrecking but Kingdom Select are happy to have come out as winners in the end.
He said they lacked confidence and trust in themselves in the first half and it was clear they needed a different approach in the second half.
“When the game started, we almost lost but after halftime, after talking to our coach, we pulled up our socks,” Nketsi said.
“We heard the crowd; (we) ignored them and gave the game our fullest attention and I realise that focusing on the game helped us reach the best level.”
Mikia Kalati

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Ex-policeboss blames Ramaphosa for Mahao death

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FORMER Commissioner of Police Khothatso Tšooana says President Cyril Ramaphosa is to blame for the assassination of Lieutenant General Maaparankoe Mahao in 2016.
Tšooana made the bizarre claim while testifying as the 11th witness in the high profile murder case on Tuesday.
He did not give details to back up his claim.

Tšooana only said Ramaphosa, the SADC-appointed mediator in Lesotho’s chaotic political upheavals, “was not fair in his mediation in the Lesotho affairs”.
He told the Zimbabwean judge, Justice Charles Hungwe, that had it not been because of Ramaphosa, Mahao could not have died.

“Maaparankoe Mahao could not have died,” he told the court.

He told the court that he did not like Ramaphosa at all because of how he conducted himself as the SADC-appointed mediator.

“He did not mediate in Lesotho’s political turmoil in a fair manner,” he said.

Tšooana recalled that at the instigation of South Africa he, together with Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli who was fighting for the commander’s position with Lt Gen Mahao, were sent on leave outside the country.
Tšooana was taken to Algeria while Lt Gen Kamoli was destined for Uganda. Lt Gen Kamoli however ended up staying in South Africa while Lt Gen Mahao was sent to Sudan.

Tšooana said when they returned home, Ramaphosa showed his approval of Lt Gen Kamoli over them.
Tšooana, who became Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in just six years of service, told the court that he was being targeted for elimination together with Lt Gen Mahao under a cooked up mutiny.

“Indeed Mahao has died now,” he said.

“He died under the name of mutiny.”

He said they got intelligence that they were going to be killed.

“Those were terrifying moments,” Tšooana said.

“Things were not as relaxed as they are now,” he added.

He told the court that movement was not as easy as it is now.

Tšooana, who informed the court that he joined the police force in 2006, said Lt Gen Kamoli did have a good working relationship with him.
He said Lt Gen Kamoli was uncooperative when he wanted to interview soldiers he suspected of committing crimes.

Asked why he could not report the conspiracy to kill him, Tšooana responded that Lt Gen Mahao was killed and SADC took over.
He said everything was then reported to SADC.

Staff Reporter

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The Market suspect granted bail

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A Maseru magistrate, Nthabiseng Moopisa, this week criticised the police and the prosecution for bringing poorly investigated criminal cases before court.
The magistrate said this as she granted Reabetsoe Bulane, 30, a M1 500 bail in a case in which he is charged with sexually assaulting a woman in the toilets of The Market at Maseru Mall.

Magistrate Moopisa, while granting the bail, criticised the police for their shoddy job in investigating the case.
Magistrate Moopisa said the police were quick to bring the case before court without completing investigations.

“You should go back and close gaps in this case before bringing it,” the magistrate said.

She said the prosecution and the police are generally in the habit of bringing poorly investigated cases before court such that the general public believe the courts are in the business of releasing crime suspects for no good reasons.

“You should go and tell the public that it is the police that do not do their job properly, not the courts,” Magistrate Moopisa told journalists who had filled the press gallery.

She said a poorly investigated case is as good as one that does not exist before court.
Bulane, widely known as Katara, is alleged to have followed the woman to the toilets where he sexually assaulted her.

The restaurant’s surveillance cameras showed the woman being dragged from the toilets by more than one person.
The restaurant’s initial statement after the woman broke the news of her ordeal there said she was heavily intoxicated but later withdrew it, saying it protects the wellbeing of its patrons.

Staff Reporter

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A disaster for Lesotho

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Lesotho’s defeat in its court battle against Frazer Solar is a monumental disaster.
The judgment by the High Court of South Africa is a near-fatal blow to Lesotho’s development agenda. Unless something dramatic happens by way of a soft settlement or an improbable victory in the apex court, Lesotho will have to pay nearly M1.2 billion to Frazer Solar.
We are disgusted.

The judge methodically dismissed the entire premise of Lesotho’s application for rescission, poking holes into Lesotho’s attempts to get the court to nullify the arbitration award that left Lesotho in the lurch.

He dismissed the claim that former minister Temeki Tšolo lacked the authority to sign the supply agreement with Frazer Solar.
The arbitrator and the South African High Court had jurisdiction over the matter, he ruled. The claim that Lesotho was not properly served to appear for the arbitration and in the initial case for the enforcement of the award is frivolous, he said.

So was former Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro’s argument that he was unaware of the agreement, the arbitration and the initial ruling when he was still finance minister.
The judge said former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane backed the agreement and assured Frazer Solar of the government‘s commitment to its implementation.
Therefore, Tšolo was not an overzealous minister cutting deals with foreign companies but had the prime minister’s blessings. Majoro was not an innocent bystander.
Indeed, nothing Lesotho can say will justify ignoring the arbitration process and not fighting Frazer Solar’s case to enforce the order.

Not even the Lesotho High Court’s judgment nullifying the supply agreement will help. It doesn’t appear that Lesotho stands a chance on appeal.
People slept on the job by not defending Lesotho during the arbitration process and initial court case.

Any punishment against those who dropped the ball or were complicit in this matter pales in comparison to the consequences we have to suffer.
The least Tšolo, Thabane, and Majoro can do is accept their mistakes and apologise.

Sadly, Tšolo persists with the absurd defence that his signature was forged, Majoro clumsily disperses blame and Thabane is visibly silent.
Still, they will be remembered as the men who inflicted a devastating blow on Lesotho’s fiscus and economy by their actions or inaction.
Our generation and the next will pay a huge price for their sins.

As we scrounge for resources to pay the debts, government projects will have to be suspended. We are already broke even without the crushing burden of this debt.
There will be no new roads, clinics and schools. The little infrastructure will not be maintained. Fewer people will be sponsored into universities and colleges.
There will be little left for safety nets for the poor. Retrenchments in government and defaulting on other debts are a real possibility. We could be in a fix from which we might not escape for years.

Be very, very afraid!
It is understandable why there is collective anguish across the country. From government to the private sector, from the poor to the rich, from the old to the young and the yet-to-be-born.

The lessons from this debacle are clear. Never put incompetent people in positions of authority. When we hire the so-called experts we should be sure of their commitment to diligently protect our national interests.

We must have strong systems to protect our national interests against opportunistic foreign companies as well as unscrupulous and inept political leaders.
While enduring the pain of a debt we never wanted, we should say “Never again!” and vigorously pursue those who got us into this mess to deter others from taking us down the same treacherous path.

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